The German metalcore band are back with a brand new thirteen-track-album, entitled Elements. Let us delve into this their eleventh studio album!
I’m not going to pretend I have been a dedicated Caliban listener in the past, I’ve heard a few songs but for whatever reason, I never have taken the steps to explore them further. My brother introduced me to them many years ago with ‘I Rape Myself‘ from 2006’s The Undying Darkness album. Maybe something to do with sibling rivalry.
Anyway, I have listened to this album non-stop for a week now, having it in the car as I drive hundreds of miles as well as when I am working in the office. I am simply not sick of it, which is a good sign in my book. Furthermore, it makes me want to rake up their back-catalogue.
The opening track ‘This Is War’ starts distinctly hardcore and compared to the rest of the album is a fast-paced, punchy gateway into Elements with a seemingly relentless pounding of the bass drum in quick succession throughout the verses.
‘Ich Blute Für Dich’ or ‘I Blossom For You’ is Caliban’s only German song on the album. This is not the first time the band have incorporated their native tongue into an album, as there has been one song in at least three previous albums; ‘Mein Schwarzes Herz’ from the Gravity album , ‘Dein R3.ich’ from I Am Nemesis album  and even as far back as ‘De Rebus Que Gerunter‘ from A Small Boy And A Grey Heaven which was released way back when everyone used to party, in 1999.
I love that they and various other artists, whose first language is not English, still keep a part of their native tongue in their writing processes, even in a small way.
‘Before Later Becomes Never’ is the fourth song on Elements and if you believe you hear a distinctly familiar growl to the vocals around two minutes fifty-seven then don’t worry, you don’t need to replace your speakers. As it turns out, this song features the powerful vocal cries of one CJ McMahon, despite not being credited in the title. ‘Before Later Becomes Never’ has a more rollercoaster effect, starting with a more aggressive tone before dropping off into a gentler pace and much softer vocals before being ramped right back up once again.
Here is the video to ‘Before Later Becomes Never’:
The fifth song ‘Set Me Free’ which has a very peculiar spoken, whiney section woven onto the latter part of the second chorus that for me is very unnecessary in a song that’s actually very good.
If you’re wearing headphones whilst listening to ‘Delusion’ it feels like you can hear the bass strings reverberating down your eardrums, providing a quite unusual experience.
Overall, it’s a not a bad album. It doesn’t blow my socks off, it doesn’t feel unique and doesn’t break any boundaries. However, it’s easy to listen to and it doesn’t become irritating after the one-hundredth time of listening to it.
Caliban will be on tour throughout Europe starting in April this year – don’t miss them!